Joint Base Lewis-McChords outgoing I Corps commander, Lt. Gen. Robert Brown, designated Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza as the right man to reactivate the 7th Infantry Division and rebuild it from scratch.
After the division reactiviation ceremony Oct. 10, 2012, and 15 months of work and leadership, Lanza relinquished command to Maj. Gen. Terry R. Ferrell, an officer Brown said can take the reins and usher in a new chapter of the Bayonet Divisions rich history.
That chapter began Tuesday with the 7th Infantry Division change of command ceremony, which took place inside Hangar 3063 on Gray Army Airfield as snow fell outside.
Ferrell took command of the largest division in the Army, with more than 20,000 Soldiers in seven brigades. Lanza remained at JBLM to take command of I Corps from Brown in a ceremony Thursday. (See the Feb. 14 Northwest Guardian for the I Corps change of command story).
Brown said the impact was felt almost immediately when 7th Inf. Div. was reactivated. The division provided support to I Corps focus on the Pacific and its leaders and staff built leader development programs, resiliency systems and started training initiatives and set objectives.
From Day 1 this division has been about the team, Lanza said. We set forth to build a ready and resilient combined arms team of teams, focused on mission, Soldier and family readiness.
Ferrell brings 29 years of service and a multitude of combat experience to his new post as 7th Inf. Div. commanding general. His most recent assignment was as commander of Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa in Djibouti, Africa, with an area of interest that covered Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Seychelles and Kenya.
As a brigadier general, he commanded the National Training Center and Fort Irwin at Fort Irwin, Calif.
He echoed Lanzas commitment to working together.
We want to be a part of the team of teams, the new Bayonet Division commanding general said.
Ferrell had a premonition a few years ago while he and his wife, Robbie, were stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea, when he spotted a 7th Inf. Div. patch on the fireplace mantle.
You should be striving for this ..., Ferrell said to himself.
This year, the 7th Inf. Div. is overseeing preparations by the 17th Fires Brigade and the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade for upcoming deployments to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
Major General Terry Ferrell is a proven combat leader, the caliber of officer who will lead the division to greater heights and accomplishments, Lanza said. ... You are the right leaders to continue to build the team and maintain our bonds of trust with those we serve.